February 2024

A Message From Our PPAMidwest President......


PPAMidwest Members,


It’s February which means LOVE is in the air. This month, your Board of Directors wants to show how much we LOVE our members by inviting you to a coffee chat on Valentine’s Day morning in both the Kansas City and St. Louis areas. Hoping to see as many of you as possible to share in some conversation and delicious coffee and treats. Even if you are celebrating Anti Valentine’s Week, please come out and meet the Board members in your area to talk trash on LOVE.

With LOVE being the key word this month, I want to share with you something else that we LOVE. While we LOVE all of our members, we especially LOVE new members. The strength of any trade association is based almost entirely on the membership base, not just in the present but for generations to come. That means it is vital for everyone to constantly search for fresh ideas, increased participation and new faces. Won’t you take some time this month to think about your industry connections and invite them to join us as we look forward to the bright future in the promo world, and more specifically in our regional? Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska are going to shine in our industry and PPAMidwest will always be there to support that shine.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars:

  • Spring Product Premiere on 3/26 in St. Louis and 3/28 in Kansas City. Exhibitor registration is open now and distributor registrations will begin soon.
  • Be on the lookout for the return of our popular baseball outings coming to you shortly.

Here’s hoping that each of you experience LOVE in your own ways this month. As always please reach out directly to me with your comments, questions, or just to chat. I can be reached via email at dennis.oglesby@go2partners.com

Yours in Service,

Dennis Oglesby, MAS

2024 PPAMidwest President

February 13, 2024 Tuesday Learning Lab: "A Tour of QuickBooks ONLINE, some Tips & Tricks and How it Integrates with SAGE Online” 

For better or worse, QuickBooks Online is here to stay. If you are considering starting new in QuickBooks or switching to QBO, this presentation will give you a thorough insight into QBO, some tips to make it more manageable, and what its integration with SAGE Online is and means.


Learning Outcomes:

  • How an order, created in SAGE Online, integrates with QBO
  • What data is moved when exporting an order from SAGE into QBO
  • Which QBO product (there are 4 choices) is best for distributors and why
  • An overview of QBO and how to navigate it (not at all like QB Desktop)
  • Some tips and tricks to use QBO more efficiently

Read more and register

Please let us know that you will be attending by registering here

February 28, 2024 Wild Wednesday Webinar: “WOW Starts with You!” 

The Employee experience directly impacts the Customer experience, (EX=CX). In this presentation we will review Ten Best Practices that help to develop a highly engaged culture that ultimately drives Legendary Customer Experiences.  


Learning Outcomes:

  • Best Practice for Hiring the right fit
  • Performance Score Cards that Motivate
  • Creating effective recognition programs
  • Developing a self-sustaining organic culture

Read more and register

Mark your calendars to attend our upcoming Spring Product Premiere!


Not Just Another Traveling Rep Show!!

Where Quality Suppliers Meet Quality Distributors

and Get Quality Results!

The PPAMidwest Spring Product Premiere is one of the best opportunities to connect

with top Suppliers and Multi-line Reps. Designed for industry veterans and newcomers alike, this show delivers quality and more of what you are looking for

to boost your business as we enter the 2nd quarter.

Our annual Spring Product Premiere will be held in St. Louis on 3/26/24 and then in

Kansas City on 3/28/24. We will also be hosting a social on 3/27/24 so that you may mingle and network with your PPAMidwest friends/customers the evening before the show.

This is not an end buyer event.

Exhibitor registration is open....

Distributor registration is opening soon!!

2 Great Cities/2 Great Shows!

These end user friendly tabletop shows will once again be at two fun

and unique locations that you and your customers are sure to love!

Our annual Fall Holiday Showcase will be held in Kansas City on 10/8/24 and then in

St. Louis on 10/10/24. We will also be hosting a social on 10/9/24 in St. Louis.

PPAMidwest News

American Solutions for Business Announces New Leadership Within Technology Team

Glenwood, MN – American Solutions for Business recently announced that Mike Schmitz has been promoted to Vice President of Technology and Eric Gorghuber has been promoted to Executive Director of Enterprise Resource Planning.

Since joining the company in 2001, Schmitz has held many roles within ASB including Lead Architect and Developer, Application Development Manager, Director eCommerce and Senior Director of eCommerce. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a master’s in management from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.


“I am thrilled to take this new role, especially considering my enthusiasm for contributing to the continued growth and focus on eCommerce,” says Schmitz. What excites me even more is the pivotal role our systems and architecture will play in supporting the broader business objectives. I also look forward to working with other members of Senior Leadership in architecting and optimizing robust systems that seamlessly integrate with our eCommerce platform, ensuring a scalable and efficient infrastructure. My vision includes implementing technologies that enhance user experiences, streamline processes, and ultimately contribute to the overall success of our business. This role presents a unique opportunity to not only lead IT initiatives but also to strategically align our systems with the organization's goals, creating a foundation for sustained growth and competitiveness in the eCommerce landscape.”

During his time with the company, Gorghuber has served as the Senior PeopleSoft Developer and Director and Senior Director titles in that role. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Bemidji State University.


“I’m looking forward to positioning our ERP PeopleSoft system to scale with the growth of ASB and the needs of our sales force,” says Gorghuber.

“Mike has been integral to the success and growth of ASB over his many years with the company as the pioneer of our ACES eCommerce system and its development. We’re so pleased to have Mike leading the technology team into the future,” remarked Justin Zavadil, ASB president. “Eric has led the PeopleSoft technical team throughout his tenure with ASB and most recently captained that team, working alongside Miriah Cassidy, our VP of Operations, on the successful upgrade to PS 9.2. We are delighted to have Eric leading the vision of the ERP and excited to see where that takes us in the future. I'm confident that both Mike and Eric will continue to keep ASB's technology on the cutting edge of our industry.” 

Towel Specialties Announces Giveback Programs

Baltimore, MD With the publication of its 2024 catalog, Towel Specialties announced the addition of two new giveback programs for 2024.

The first one is for Coral Vita, a Bahamian organization dedicated to restoring coral reefs around the world. With coral reefs nearing extinction, the team at Coral Vita has pioneered a way to grow a more resilient hybrid coral in pools at a faster rate than normal traditional growth rates. Once ready they can then reintroduce them to marine life in areas that have been decimated. Towel Specialties will donate a portion of all sales of their new Coral Reef Towels to the well-regarded organization.

In the second program, Towel Specialties will donate a portion of all sales to the Melanoma Research Foundation. Additionally, Towel Specialties has donated towels and blankets to the Salvation Army, particularly in areas with natural disasters, for many years.

“We’re thrilled to do our part and to support these organizations,” said Towel Specialties President Shawn Kanak. “We're committed to donating products and resources as we've done for nearly forty years and will continue adding to our messaging through the next decade. More importantly, we're investing and learning more about supporting those fighting for cures along with protecting a greener planet for future of generations to come.”

PPAMidwest Members....You and your family members have access to a

$1,250 One Year Scholarship funded by special events and activities

brought to you by your PPAMidwest Board of Directors

PPAMidwest has partnered with PPEF to offer a one year, $1,250 scholarship to all staff of PPAMidwest member companies or their children who are high school seniors or college undergraduates. PPEF takes all of the applications, reviews, verifies, and makes a recommendation for a recipient.

Why PPEF? The Promotional Products Education Foundation is an industry-based educational, charitable, and nonprofit organization.  PPEF awards college scholarships to students who have a parent working in the promotional products industry or who are working for a company in the industry. 

Applications for the 2024-2025 academic school year are now available.

Deadline to submit is March 15, 2024.

Apply today at https://www.ppef.us/college-scholarships

Geiger Acquires NY Distributorship with a 68-Year History

Lewiston, ME Distributor company Geiger recently acquired Broadway Marketing, an Albany, NY-based distributorship that’s been in business since 1956. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

“We are so pleased to welcome Broadway Marketing to the Geiger family,” said Chris McKee, Geiger’s chief revenue officer. “This acquisition demonstrates our continued growth and will allow us to further enhance our service offerings to customers on the East Coast and beyond.”

Broadway Marketing will now go to market as Broadway Marketing, a Geiger Company.

“We are excited to join forces with Geiger, a global leader in the promotional products industry, yet a family-owned business like ours,” said Leslie Baker, president & CEO of Broadway Marketing. “With access to Geiger’s suite of technology and e-commerce solutions, this acquisition will enable Broadway to provide an elevated range of services to our clients.”

Want to earn points and join in on the fun?

Simply complete the easy request form to have your points credited

for the activities you participate in. For live events and activities, your attendance will automatically be recorded and points assigned, provided you are an active member of PPAMidwest. For recorded webinars, referrals and completion of PPAI Certifications or renewals, simply complete the easy request form to have your points credited.

It is that simple! (click on above image for more information).

Industry News

PPAI Board of Directors

PPAI Newslink

Danny Rosin, CAS, Appointed To The PPAI Board Of Directors


Danny Rosin, CAS, president and co-owner of North Carolina-based distributor Brand Fuel, has been appointed to the PPAI Board of Directors to fill the remaining term of Joshua White, who has stepped down. Rosin will serve on the Board through The PPAI Expo 2027.

An accomplished leader and volunteer in the promotional products industry, Rosin previously served on the PPAI Board in 2017-2021 and is the 2023 recipient of the Association's H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award.

Speaking to PPAI Media, Rosin shared his thoughts on returning to the Association's volunteer leadership, and on unfinished business he'd like to see through during his term.

Read the Full Story Here

3 Ways to Build a Culture of Radical Honesty (and How It Can Transform Your Business) Andrew Schaap  Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor CEO of Society22 PR

Transparency and honesty can go a long way toward making a business nimble and innovative.

What keeps me up at night? Watermelons. As a CEO, my biggest fear is that the digital dashboards capturing my company's vital signs are the business equivalent of that tropical fruit — green and firm on the outside, but red and mushy underneath. At first glance, everything looks solid. Then one morning, I get a call from a client asking, "What the hell is going on with A, B or C?"

This concern isn't fair to my team, who consistently exceed my expectations. But the reality is that for many leaders, such nagging fears can persist. When there's a problem, the last thing you want is for people to give you the impression — intentionally or not — that things are better than they truly are. So, how do you avoid this?

For the past few years, I've led a company in an industry facing astronomical demand. One of the biggest lessons: The agility, operational excellence and innovation required to meet this challenge requires building a culture of radical honesty.

Here are three ways that leaders and their teams can embrace radical honesty — and reap the benefits of better decision-making and a true picture of where the business stands.

Read More

PPAI 100 - 2024 Changes

PPAI Newslink

PPAI 100 Returns In 2024 With Significant Changes

PPAI 100 has always been about leading change. It recognizes the promotional products firms pushing the industry toward a better future, clarifies what those trailing them must do to compete, and, in the long run, alters narratives about our medium as a whole. It should come as no surprise that PPAI 100 itself will evolve in 2024.


The Association’s most ambitious research project has been designed to serve as a leading edge for promotional products, meant to evolve with the times and the marketplace. The evolution from Year 1 to Year 2 was always likely to be the most substantial of all. This year, the changes may have the potential to yield a fairly significant shakeup in the rankings.

Learn More About PPAI 100 in 2024

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